Transformation: YEAR 1 - HASS - Engage

Little J finds a Hawk Moth caterpillar on the Tar vine in the backyard that he names ‘Sausage’. He wants to take it to school but the caterpillar has other ideas and disappears underground. Nanna teaches Little J the story about the Yeperenye caterpillar of the Arrernte people from central Australia. Sausage finally returns to give Little J a further lesson on life cycles. Sissy wants to perform a dance for the school with Big Cuz, but Big Cuz feels ‘shame’.

Engage - Pose questions about past and present objects, people, places and events

Theme - TIME

After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 10 ‘Transformation’, ask students to identify parts of the story focused on continuity and change in the individual stories about each character.

As a class, discuss the meaning of the word ‘transformation’. Examine the word phonetically:

  • ‘trans’ (“across,” “beyond,” “through,” “changing thoroughly”, etc.),
  • ‘form’ (method, structure, system, document, etc.) 
  • ‘formation’ (creation, development, growth, shape, structure, organisation, etc.)

Have students pose questions about what the whole word, transformation, might means.

Ask students to identify ‘what’ and ‘who’ changed and grew in this episode, and direct the discussion to both the animals and people. As a class, make a list of all the people, animals and places that transform during this episode.

Re-watch the episode again and have students identify how ‘time’ is represented and to ‘guesstimate’ how long it took for the caterpillar to complete its life cycle into a moth. Ask students to count the days and nights. Ask students what devices are used to calculate time (calendar, growth chart, seasons, etc.). Have students listen to Nanna’s story again and ask students how old is her story.

Introduce students to information about the earliest records of Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples living on the Australian continent.

Chronological timeline

Attach one end of a string to a wall in the classroom and attach the other end of the string to the opposing wall. Tell students that this string indicates the 60,000 years Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples have inhabited this county. Place clips with time labels at half way, quarters, 8ths, 16ths, and divide the last 16th into 8 parts. Each of the last 8 parts represent 100 years. Place a marker at 1770, 1788, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2010 and Now.

Suggested reference resource is Australian History for Kids (timeline quiz)

Ask students again where they believe Nanna’s story of the Three Caterpillars began. Place a marker on the start of the string. Discuss with students the significance for Aboriginal Dreaming stories and/or Torres Strait Islander Bipo Bipo Taim (Before Before Time) stories.

Teacher references for the history of Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait islander peoples, include:

Divide the class into smaller groups and give each group a simple timeline with 12 months marked on the line. Have students mark on the timeline the events in Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 10, ‘Transformation’:

  • the seasons
  • finding the caterpillar
  • Big Cuz and Sissy learning the dance
  • the caterpillar emerging as a moth
  • Big Cuz performs for the class
  • Little J gets a bit taller.

Compare where each group indicated each of the events of the episode and ask students to explain why they placed the event where they did.

Individually, have students draw another timeline, representing their own life and mark on the timeline four important events in their life to date.